A journey of fear and hope

Godfrey Alumay Moini feared the worst for his wife and three children after finding their home raided and empty in Juba, South Sudan.

The 28-year-old was working as a construction worker in Pachala, South Sudan, when war broke out in December 2013. Constant gunfire made it impossible for him to safely leave Pachala for a week. He left to find his family as soon as the fighting died down, and was devastated to find no sign of them.

He collected his spirits as best as he could and joined a military convoy transporting people fleeing the war zone. He arrived in Uganda and was received at the Dzaipi reception centre at the Adjumani refugee settlements. Not finding his family there, he found his way to the nearby Nyumanzi reception centre to find out if his family had been registered there. He was joyful to find that they had been received just a few days before him. Even though their homes remain separate—Godfrey was placed in a different settlement from his wife and children because they weren’t identified as a family unit upon arrival—it was a huge relief to know they safely made it out of Juba.

The Dzaipi reception centre, where Godfrey was received when he first arrived at the Adjumani refugee settlement.

The Dzaipi reception centre, where Godfrey was received when he first arrived at the Adjumani refugee settlement.

Lutheran support stepped in at this point to help Godfrey get back on his feet. His immediate needs for household items like dishes and pans, blankets, plastic sheets, soap, a sleeping mat and a mosquito net were met. Garden tools including a hoe and a sickle, and seeds for okra, onion, cabbage, tomatoes, eggplant, cassava stock and sweet potato vines allowed him to grow his own food.

Godfrey receives a box of laundry soap from Steven, a Lutheran World Federation staff member

Godfrey receives a box of laundry soap from Steven, a Lutheran World Federation staff member

Best of all, he received training from our partner, the Lutheran World Federation in Uganda, to become a pump mechanic. He now has the skills to construct and repair wells.

“I consider the pump repair training I received from LWF to be invaluable. I had some construction skills before, but now I know how to build and fix a borehole. Now I make a living from fixing them, and I can support my family with that. It is a skill I can keep for the rest of my life.

“LWF has allowed me to grow roots within this area and has given me the tools to succeed as an independent individual.”

When asked about the future, Godfrey sounds optimistic. He is intending to reunite with his wife and family, and maybe one day, if South Sudan is peaceful again, they will return there and start over. For now, he is using his new skills to make life better in his new community.

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